Montana Public Radio, Broadcast Programs Receive Statewide Recognition

June 29, 2018

Public media at the Montana Broadcasters Awards. Left to right: Yellowstone Public Radio General Manager Kurt Wilson, William Marcus of MontanaPBS and MTPR, MTPR Director Ray Ekness, MTPR reporter Nicky Ouellet, YPR reporter Nate Hegyi, MTPR web editor Josh Burhnam and Peter Breigenzer. MISSOULA – Montana Public Radio recently received E.B. Craney Awards from the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation for the news podcast “SubSurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders” and the MTPR website.

The E.B. Craney Awards recognize excellence in local news, production, promotion, programs and public service in both radio and television stations across the state. The awards were presented Saturday, June 16, at the MBA annual convention in Whitefish.

In the Radio Non-Commercial Program of the Year category, “SubSurface,” produced by Nicky Ouellet and MTPR news director Eric Whitney, took an in-depth look at the possible threat to Montana’s waterways from invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

“It’s a dense topic. It’s not sexy. But we found our people,” Ouellet said. “Listeners want substantive stories that dive into complex science and tease out nuanced opinions.”

MTPR’s website won Radio Website of the Year for the second straight year. MTPR online editor Josh Burnham accepted the award and thanked the news staff and MTPR’s donors.

Two other UM programs became finalists for the awards.

“Backroads of Montana: Rich With Tradition,” finished in second place for Television Non-Commercial Program of the Year. William Marcus, Gus Chambers, John Twiggs and Ray Ekness produce the popular MontanaPBS program.

The MTPR children’s program “Kids Like You and Me,” produced by Annie Garde, Cherie Newman and Beth Anne Austein, was runner-up in the Radio Non-Commercial Radio Program of the Year category.

“Kids Like You and Me” creates a unique and nurturing place to hear radio stories from children about how it feels to be excluded, mocked and bullied because they’re different – in color or ability – or how it feels to be accepted despite those differences.

Montana Public Radio and MontanaPBS are part of the University of Montana’s Broadcast Media Center.

Montana Public Radio airs across much of western and central Montana at 89.1 and 91.5 in Missoula, 89.1 and 91.5 in Missoula, 91.9 in Hamilton, 89.5 in Polson, 90.1 in Kalispell, Whitefish and North Valley, 90.5 in Libby, 91.7 in Kalispell, 101.3 in Swan Lake, 91.3 in Butte, 91.7 in Helena, 89.9 in Great Falls, 91.7 in Dillon and online at

MontanaPBS (KUFM-TV in Missoula, KUSM-TV in Bozeman, KUKL-TV in Kalispell, KBGS-TV in Billings, KUGF-TV in Great Falls and KUHM-TV in Helena) is a service of UM and Montana State University. For more information visit


Contact: Ray Ekness, director, UM Broadcast Media Center, 406-243-4154,